Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged 200 days in an Elijah Craig bourbon barrel.

Added by Jmoore50 on 12-29-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
287
Ratings:
1,814
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
7.67%
 
 
Wants:
846
Gots:
757
For Trade:
54
User Reviews
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Reviews: 287 | Ratings: 1,814
Photo of mulder1010
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into a CBS Snifter
#2925
Did it really need more wax??

A-- Pours a dark cola color and settled a dark reddish black color. All sorts of ruby hues with this. Nearly clear when shown to the light. Half finger of light brown head that quickly fades to a thick film that eventually breaks up into a splotchy film. Lots of carbonation bubbles in the head. Nice spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S-- Dark milk chocolate, honey, coconut, toasted marshmallow, and slight oak. Once opened up it shows signs of bourbon and alcohol, yet it mellows again to the original nose. Well balanced and not as sweet as the other variations have been.

T-- A little bourbon forward. Bourbon at first, followed by milk chocolate, carmel, honey, and toasted coconut. Flashes of alcohol but quite restrained. rather smooth really.

M-- Slick and oily. Alcohol is more obvious in the mouth as there is more heat in the mid and back of the palate. Bit of a milk chocolate, honeycomb, and marshmallow finish to this. There are thin parts to this but the barrel notes do a good job in covering it well.

O-- Brandy or bourbon? Something that needs to be sipped and savored. Enough notes of the base beer and enough of the barrel to make this really nice. Well done in the balance and in the softer touches of the barrel notes. Not something that hits you over the head with a hammer.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.55/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle run no.1, 2013.

A - Bonfire-log black. Thin, fleeting ochre head.

S - Vanilla ice cream. Sweet, sweet bourbon. Caramel. Soft bourbon notes reward inquisitive sniffing. Coconut candy.

T - Reprising the nose, with a chorus of sweet and mellow bourbon. Velvety cocoa powder. No smoke, no char, no peat. Lightly toasted malt, but not particuarly toasty otherwise. I would have liked a little more of these classic stout flavours to go along with those already offered, but its delicious nonetheless.

M - This beer is a slender dancer albeit with great balance.

O - What this beer lacks in depth and layering it makes up for due to its remarkable poise. It hides its abv. wonderfully; I have never had such a strong beer with so little heat. Put simply this is a beer with sweet, mellow-bourbon flavours in which all the elements are beautifully harmonized. Perhaps the first beer I've head where the overall score is higher than any of the constituent scores. Very,very good.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.55/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black with 1cm khaki head. Low retention and spotty lacing. 

Roasted character in the nose with some chocolate. Bourbon is present but not Alot. A little oaky. 

Flavor is phenomenal and extremely well balanced. Deep, robust and not overly rich. Nice chocolate notes. Mild bourbon and vanilla. 

Mouth is just under full bodied. Silky with light creamy carbonation. 

Overall this beer is excellent! Great flavor and balance. Lacking inthe nose a bit but amazing flavor.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After immense struggling with the wax, I got the bottle top off. Poured halfway into a duvel tulip.

Seriously pitch black, I can see my reflection in the glass. Half finger bubbly khaki head. Good retention. Head resides to covering half the surface of the beer and good head around the edge of the brew that is touching glass.

Lots of fragrance as soon as the bottle is opened. Smells like dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and pistachio. Also, sweet chocolate malts and alcohol.

Tastes like vanilla, chocolate, coconut, bourbon, nut oil (almond, peanut, pistachio).

This beer is quite heavy. Fairly well carbonated, and medium dry.

Good drinkability. Especially for the abv.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing, Bill (mistakebythelake)
From notes

A - Dark body, hint of red light in the edges, small ring of tan head

S - spent grain, chocolate, sweet, bourbon, vanilla.

T - Just the same as the nose. A good tasting beer for sure.

M - thick, full, smooth, very nice.

O (D) - A really great beer. well done, and thanks again Bill.

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Photo of JohnQVD
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a thin bubbly head. Heavy bourbon smell, kind of sweet. Medium-thin body, with light carbonation. The bourbon taste is heavy, with some roasted coffee in the background and a very small amount of carbonation bite. Mild aftertaste with a slight lingering astringent bitterness.

This is well-balanced for as bourbon forward as it is. This is one of the best bourbon-barrel aged beers I've had.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours with a light to medium thickness on the body, dark brown head with moderate sized bubbles, and a finger worth head. Head settles in and is lightly present only in the edges of the glass. Carbonation is low in glass but present.

Smell: Bourbon forward. The bourbon brings rich tones of vanilla, toffee, and cherries, oak. Slight burn from the alcohol which is not offensive, instead with brings a welcome layer of depth. Milk chocolate tones and lightly roasted coffee grounds. The big barrel character wins out in the end but lets so many other characteristics make an appearance.

Taste: The bourbon seems to have settled a little better on the taste but is still a robust presence. The palate is greeted by a menacing vanilla, milk chocolate, and lingering oak. The body is a slightly alcohol burn, cherries, and some medium to dark chocolate. The finish is some lingering alcohol, easy vanilla, and dry chocolate.

Mouthfeel: This brew doesn't have the huge, rich, creamy body that so many other elite imperial stouts do but all the traditional stout flavors and barrel character still come through so well. For what it lacks in rich heavy body, it makes up for in elite drinkability.

Overall: I would definitely but this in the world class BA stout category. The lighter body give it a very different drinkability but in no way is a negative in the long run. The barrel character is absolutely top notch. I bought a bottle of Elijah Craig 12yr bourbon at the same time as this bottle and I hope it packs this type of punch as well.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009.

A-Pitch black with a thin, coffee colored head. No lacing.

S-Bourbon oak, vanilla, espresso bean, raspberry, bittersweet chocolate.

T/M-Just gorgeous. Thin on the tongue, but lush and silky on the back of the throat. Strong coffee bean/bourbon flavors, complemented by a touch of vanilla and honey. There is an off flavor of charred wood/chalkiness that gets distracting after awhile. Full bodied with low carbonation.

O-A great beer, but WAY too expensive. Loses some points for the ludicrous price.

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Photo of Agold
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours with a short off white heawouldd. Not quite as dark as I would have expected. Aroma is heavy bourbon, a bit fruity, vanilla, mild coco and roast. Flavor is more oaky than bourbon, some mild coconut when it warms and more sweet caramel, mild fruit, some cocoa. Mouthfeel is pretty on point, would like some more creamy carbonation. Medium heavy bodied. Very nice. Don't know if it is worth it, but I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
3.76/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This bottle was a little harsh for my palate, but I can see why many people enjoy it.

A- Kinda transparent for a BA Stout. Thank You Mr. Minor lacing.

S- Kinda musty. It almost smells sour, but the barrel characteristic comes out.

T- I get a harsh rye bite out of this one. Not as smooth as I like it. Barrel character is present, some charred dark fruit and molasses is present.

M- Thin like the appearance. Leaves a nice coat of barrel after drinking it though!

O- I have yet to be impressed by 50/50, but I also have not had the pappy or vanilla

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Photo of gibgink
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An absolutely amazing beer. Was expecting a good bourbon barrel stout, but did not know the transformation that takes place with this beer. The bourbon is present in the nose and a little on the palate, but the chocolate blew me away. Simply fantastic!

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Photo of _RL_
4.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black but not thick with no head. Smells boozy but not sharp. Taste boozy with an underlying bitterness I think is common to their stouts - Cognac Masterpiece had the same flavor. Good mouthfeel - thick, although not chewy, but still thicker than many stouts. Overall very good, but short of great. For my tastes, I wish the beer were a tad (just a tad) sweeter. Two, as other have mentioned, the price point really makes you more critical. Still glad I tried it though.

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Photo of tewaris
3.94/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks poonamibaxter for the trade. Thanks for hosting Kevin.

Looks thin and not as syrupy as some others of its creed. Initially chocolaty with mellow roast and some vanilla; the barrels seem to be only in supporting role at first but the beer opens up with warmth. Creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Would have been more enjoyable had it not been somewhat offputtingly tart.

3 4 4 4 4

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Photo of fx20736
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought 2 bottles from Beers of the World, $ 28.99 each on 1/9/14. Poured into a goblet served between cellar and room temp.

appearance: ebony black with a cappucino head, decent lacing.

aroma: bourbon seems hidden. Smells like malted milk balls, vanilla and honey a little caramel corn and finally some alcohol esters.

taste: molasses leads the way and in a big way followed by coffee and chocolate. Whiskey finally comes out of hiding with an immediate warming sensation

mouthfeel: supple and smooth

overall: expensive but worth it, this is an unbelievably tasty beer. Definitely belongs in the top tier of Bourbon Barrel Aged Stouts. I have another of these celaring and am debating going back to the store to see if any is left.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.64/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

100th review! 22oz bomber into a snifter. Bottle number 1127. 2009 Vintage.

A: Pours a deep/pitch black with a tiny dark brown head that barely rose up after pouring it pretty vigoursly. It disappeared faster than it took to rise up and leave a small bit of lacing.

S: The nose is very similar to GI BCS with tons of vanilla, chocolate, and molasses. I've yet to find a beer close to the intensity of the BCS but I think I found it here.

T: The taste is similar too but it has a buttery element that I've never experienced before. Lots of roasty cocoa and vanilla with a molasses backbone. This is good stuff.

M: This is the surprising characteristic that I wasn't expecting...it's pretty thin. I wouldn't say it detracts from the beer but I'd like to see it a bit thicker. Still I think it sets this one apart from BCS.

D: This is a damn good barrel aged stout and one I would love to drink on a regular basis if it wasn't so expensive and limited. ABV is a bit high as well but I don't see that being a problem.

Great beer and I'm glad I chose this one for my 100th. I'd love to try this in a year or so.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Really interesting beer, has Big, bold, roasty, malt flavors one excepts from a BA stout such as chocolate and coffee, as well as an equal dose of raisins, caramel and vanilla, to almost comes off as a cross between a barley wine and a stout. Seriously awesome beer.

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Photo of errantnight
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted in a Spiegelau tulip during a RIS tasting (with plain crackers and water for palate cleansing between tastings).

A thin, brown, lightly opaque pour with a thin, short lasting head.

On the nose this is boozy and rich, chocolate and more chocolate with some fruity esters.

And if you'd stopped me here I'd have said I was fully expecting to be disappointed... but then it hit my palate.

Great, great, great barrel character. Toffee and brown sugar sweetness with that intense cocoa and roast hinted at by the chocolate on the nose. Rich, decadent, but balanced and enormously complex.

Medium-full body with a rich viscosity, this nevertheless doesn't quite have the truly full, silky body of the very best (in mouthfeel) beers in this style, but all faults are overwhelmed by that sublime flavor.

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Photo of claaark13
4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mike/Mihir for sending this my way.Poured into a Founders snifter at around 60 degrees. 2009 bottle.

A - Pours fairly black. Light head turns quickly into lacing. Sticks surprisingly well to the side of the glass. The bubbles that appear solely due to the pour ending in the middle of the glass are considered in the score here, as they don't make it look better. Looked the same on both pours.

S - I could smell it with the hiss of the cap. Sweet, smooth bourbon. Not as potent as I'd initially thought from the opening of the bottle. Slightest hints of toffee and chocolate.

T - Smooth, fairly balanced amount of a caramel/toffee, dark malts, slight sweetness and then a nice charred oak finish. Quite enjoyable. I find some dark fruits throughout as well. There is a little bit of hotness still going on, but nothing to deter me at all. The balance that the taste provides, while still being complex, is by far my favorite thing about this beer.

M - Moderate thickness and silky. Has almost a bit of flatness to it though and I find that a little bit off-putting. The mouthfeel grew on me as ounces disappeared. It is like carbonation was sacrificed for a better feeling of thickness. I guess I actually like that.

O - Pretty good one here. It lacks here and there, but I could drink this all day. Due to the carbonation and current balance, I really don't see this getting much better. That won't stop me from waiting another year to open my next bottle.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, pours black with a very thin ring around the edges and some fine lacing. Nose is a lot of that really round, big malt, bourbon, wood, vanilla. Quite smooth and rich. Mouth is a lot of oak and vanilla up front segueing into a rich, fairly boozy bourbon finish. Spicy and showcasing a lot of vanilla. Mouth is thin. This is quite, quite good, not as hefty as I though it might be but just impressive flavor profile.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a few brown bubbles of head.

S: Bourbon vanilla/oak characte, sweet dark chocolate, brown sugar, some coffee and some alcohol.

T: Starts of with sweet chocolate, bitter coffee, oak and vanilla, the bourbon character shows up more in the finish.

M: Full bodied and creamy smooth.

O: Not as good as the EC 20, Four Roses or Rittenhouse, but still an eclipse, still aged in the barrels of excellent whiskey, and still delicious.

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle.

A - Black body, tan 2-3 finger head.

S - Very sweet, a lot of oak, vanilla, a bit of chocolate, some booze.

T - A lot of bourbon up front followed by a good amount of bitterness. Chocolate, oak, vanilla, molasses.

M - Medium to full, nice carbonation.

Great beer, wish I had another.

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Photo of waltonc
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a big fan of Elijah Craig bourbon so it's great to have a chance to try a stout aged in EC barrels.

A: Pours non-opaque dark brown without a great deal of head. Some lacing lingers after the pour.

S: lots of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and oak.

T: One of the better-tasting barrel-aged stouts I have had. Heavy bourbon in this, but it works. Fairly sweet, with plenty of vanilla, toffee, and chocolate character. No heat, and not particularly boozy. Little hop presence. So right up my alley, as I don't care for hoppy stouts (e.g., some Abyss vintages), and get annoyed when crazy high ABV beers are bottled in bombers or 750s.

M: As with all Eclipses, this is medium-bodied and will slightly disappoint those who think a barrel aged stout is required to be thick. Great in my opinion, though. Carbonation is light to moderate.

D: Overall, one of the best bourbon barrel-aged stouts I have had. Love all the different barrel treatments Fifty Fifty is doing with this.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: This is about as dark as it gets without being straight up black. Only a tiny bit of dark brown light got through the very top of the glass when held up to the light. No flashes of ruby, no transparency, just the smallest touch of dark brown. A quarter-inch of coffee colored head tops the glass for a few minutes before becoming a patch-work of bubbles and wisps on top of the black sea of beer. A few bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass as well, but cannot be seen until reaching the surface. There is no lacing to speak of.

SMELL: Smells like bourbon with a heavier than usual emphasis on the vanilla. Of course some wood comes through as well and a little chocolate backs it all up. The only surprises here are the hints of raisin and the lack of a more boozy smell.

TASTE: My first sip is too cold and more of the booziness comes through in the form of a more oaky bourbon flavor. Following the bourbon is a closing wave of bitter, roasted, coffee-like malt flavor. I know this will change drastically in a few minutes though. As it warms the sweeter side becomes apparent. A slightly bitter, dark-chocolate beats out the vanilla of the nose, but vanilla is still there and the chocolate gets sweeter as it warms. The hint of raisin is still present, but only at the very tail end of the sip and in the aftertaste.

MOUTHFEEL: A decent amount of carbonation provides an appropriate amount of tickle to the tongue for this big, full-bodied beer. Like many other big stouts, this has a mouthcoating, but not too sticky feel as well – it is silky smooth.

OVERALL: This was one of the biggest and best beer surprises I have had in a while. I expected it to be good, but it instantly became a new favorite of mine when I tried it on tap for the first time last week. I instantly knew I had to go grab a bottle…plus another to age. I don’t know how I’ll hold off, but I have a feeling it will be worth the wait.

Anyhow, while my first few, too chilly sips were good, this is a beer that needs to warm up a few degrees. Let it sit for 15 minutes before diving in.

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Photo of MCain04
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage poured into my Darkness tulip. For $30/bomber, expecting this to be really, really good.

Appearance: Dark brown pour with a voluminous creamy tan head with great retention and lacing. Expected this to be a darker pour given the reviews, but it really isn't that dark.

Smell: Big barrel character in the nose with bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and oak. Some charred wood and a bit of roast on the nose as well.

Taste: Barrel character shines with a nicely palatable bourbon taste, sweet vanilla and caramel, with a balancing backbone of roasty malt, chocolate, and coffee. Mild bitterness. A little bit of anise on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with low carbonation, medium body, mildly sticky, but wish the body was bigger.

Overall, I'd say I went into this with high expectations. They were met, but just barely. This could have been better for being 99/100 and 100/100. I'd give it more of a 95/100. Extremely balanced, very drinkable, well-rounded overall. Just doesn't give that extra flavor-punch to push it over the edge. For $30/bottle I might not get this again, but certainly enjoyed the bottle, and it would be a staple if it were more around $18 or so.

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Photo of bbeane
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle # 2573

A- Poured into an oversized snifter... dark black liquid starts with a small brown head that all but disappears leaving light spotted lacing

S- Smell is very bourbon forward with some wood and coffee

T- Wow... First off, a huge dose of bourbon. Followed by some coffee, chocolate, and notes of honey

M- Full bodied, yet a bit thin. Light carbonation

O- Awesome beer. Definitely one of the best bourbon barrel aged beers I've ever had... and should have been considering what I paid for it. All in all... I'd pay it again. Worth ever cent

CHEERS

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 287 ratings.
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